Venice = Barcelona writ large

There’s an excellent St Marks rant by Anna Somers Cocks over at the New York Review of Whatever. No one who has been involved in tourism in southern Europe will be surprised by the notion that local government is reluctant to tame the tourism monster because its members benefit on the side from the huge black money economy generated – and, indeed, use their official connections to harass and/or undercut using subsidies anyone outside the mafia who dares to set foot.

I went to Venice once years ago but was fortunate enough to get caught up in a bar on the outskirts, and it now strikes me as an absolutely horrible place. The only good places in Italy are ugly or dangerous (this is OK until the city walls), and I’m sure there are dozens of female readers out there simply dying to accompany me.

OK, I’ll go on my own then.

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